My first confession:
I fell in love with Cher as a little boy sitting in the living room of the little house where I grew up in Southern California. At the time, all the girls looked like typical tanned beach girls with feathered hair. At best, they looked like a less-glamorous Stevie Nicks. At worst, they looked like barbecued blondes with stringy hair.
And then there was Cher. I remember the first time I saw her on TV. She was like an alien to me. Seeing Cher with her shiny tan skin, long black hair, disco makeup, long blood-red nails and shimmering Bob Mackie gowns struck a chord in me. She was larger than life and the most exciting star I'd ever seen.
It wasn't that I wanted to be a girl. But to me, she was someone to emulate, just like David Bowie, Elton John and KISS, who had all entered my world at the same time via my older siblings. I wanted to be whatever would allow me to wear makeup, high heels and outlandish clothes.
It had nothing to do with being male or female. It was beyond that. I wanted to be a glamorous creature like my idols. And Cher was my very first idol in heels!
My mom says that when I was little, I'd never miss Cher's show on TV. We'd be out at a restaurant, and in the car ride home, I'd be saying, "We have to get home in time for Cher!" It wasn't just a kid thing, either. Cher is still like a true goddess to me.
Fast-forward to the late '80s. My friend and roommate at the time, Michael Schmidt, got a call from Cher. She wanted him to design something for her. He was thrilled, but I was enraptured. I finally had the opportunity to meet this goddess.
Michael introduced me to Cher for the first time in New York, and the first thing that came into my head was that I couldn't believe how small she was. I always thought she was like 6 feet tall, but that perception was clearly based on her super-sized personality and talent.
Cher was very sweet and invited us to the set of the new music video that she was shooting in Los Angeles. We even got to be in the background of the "live" scenes. But the best part for me was that I got to invite my mom, who's also a big Cher fan, to the shoot and introduce her to my childhood hero!
It was so surreal saying, "Cher, this is my mom Sue. Mom, this is Cher!" My mom and I still talk about how unbelievable that day was. I even got to go to Cher's house and hang out! That's how cool she is. What other superstar is that cool?!
Which brings me to my point. Cher is not only a superstar; she is the superstar of superstars. She's been famous longer than just about any other star today. She has a career unlike any other star, past or present, alive or dead. She's done it all, and way before Madonna, Lady Gaga or any of 'em! And for the record, I love Madonna and Gaga!
Not that I need to give a rundown of her resume, but in a nutshell she has had number-one songs in every decade since the '60s and is still creating and performing to this day. She was the first person to show her bellybutton on TV, and she even has an Oscar. What other performer can say that?
Cher is 67 years old and still looks totally hot! She looks better than a lot of women half her age.
She still puts on a dynamite show. Cher's probably the only person I think is worth shelling out $300-plus for a concert ticket. In fact, I'll probably be doing just that this fall when she sets out on tour.
But more importantly, Cher has had so many great songs in her long career that it certainly makes up for a song once in a while that isn't as great as "Half Breed," "If I Could Turn Back Time," "The Way of Love," "I Found Someone," "Dark Lady," "Believe," "Take Me Home" or "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves."
And let's not forget that she was the person who popularized auto-tune, which we still hear today from Rihanna and the like, and Cher still does it better!
So as America begins to accept (albeit slowly) that gays have rights and are here to stay, I want to reflect on the positive influence that Cher has had on pop culture, on music, and on me. Cher was my first gay love... and there's nothing gayer than Cher.
Have a look at Miss Guy's new video: